Winter in Wisconsin is coming, so gear up with ideas to make the most of the season! From seasonal sips to breathtaking scenic views, bundle up and…
Looking to find something new, unique, quirky or fun for an upcoming story? We are here to help! To start below is an overview of what’s new in the Stevens Point Area.
If you don't see what you need, contact us.
What’s New for 2023
New Construction/Capital Projects
ANCESTORS BURIED BELOW US
Pay tribute to Native Americans buried on the grounds before UW-Stevens Point was established with the Ancestors Buried Below Us. The memorial is a 24-foot by 32-foot mural painted by Ho-Chunk/White Earth Ojibwe artist, Christopher Sweet. The memorial is part of a larger plan by UW-Stevens Point to educate people on and off campus about the tragedy that led to the burial site.
FOOD + FARM EXPLORATION CENTER
See what’s growing at the Food + Farm Exploration Center, a state-of-the-art educational center that is in development (& under construction) in Plover. The facility, slated to open in 2023, will offer interactive exhibits, inside and out, to bring modern farming to life.
GREAT NORTHERN DISTILLING
Central Wisconsin’s first craft distillery is slated to open its doors to a new facility in downtown Stevens Point this year. Great Northern Distilling’s new location will feature an expanded tasting room, a dog-friendly outdoor patio, a private event space, as well as a production area for crafting their award-winning spirits.
CREATE Portage County with a mission to accelerate creativity, connection, and collaboration to advance vibrant and welcoming communities, will soon have a new home, as part of The Grove, a redevelopment of the former Sisters of St. Joseph’s Convent. CREATE will use 27,000 square feet as a community hub, coworking, meeting, and event space - expanding the efforts of the current IDEA Center. The Grove also includes a multi-generational housing development, a pivotal part of the project.
HONEY BEE GOOD MEADERY & PLANT SHOP
The local craft beverage scene is expanding with the addition of Honey Bee Good, a new business in the Stevens Point Area. They plan to produce mead by fermenting local honey (and operate a greenhouse featuring tropical houseplants) in the developing Central City Market, a cooperative of local makers and entrepreneurs.
KNOWLTON HOUSE DISTILLERY
Central Wisconsin will have another distillery, slated to open in 2023. The twist? They’ll use milk sugars to create their spirits. Knowlton House Distillery, located across the street from Mullins Cheese, will offer tours, classes, craft cocktails, and food.
PLOVER RIVER CROSSING
The Plover River Crossing project will add roughly a third of a mile of trail and expand access to the popular Green Circle Trail. Through the creation of a pedestrian bridge over the Plover River, the project will provide access to the trail avoiding Interstate 39 and Highway 10.
The Village Hive Bakery, a hub for food entrepreneurs in Amherst, is expanding in 2023. The new additions will include a short-term rental for overnight guests, hands-on classes, and a small event space.
43RD U.S. SENIOR OPEN
Get ready for golf to take center stage during the 43rd U.S. Senior Open, when SentryWorld hosts the event June 29 to July 2, 2023. Wisconsin’s own Steve Stricker is anticipated to be on the course for the championship – which will be televised. Visiting for the event? Get all of the inside tips with our guide for visiting during the U.S. Senior Open.
PORTAGE COUNTY CULTURAL FESTIVAL
After taking a pause during the pandemic (in 2020, 2021, and 2022), the state’s largest free cultural festival returns to central Wisconsin on May 13! The Portage County Cultural Festival brings people together to celebrate rich cultural heritage through food, arts and entertainment, and activities.
Anniversaries & Celebrations
HIDDEN STUDIOS TOUR – 20TH YEAR
Each fall, travel along the nooks and crannies of the Ice Age Trail as it weaves its way through Portage and Waupaca Counties in central Wisconsin for the Hidden Studios Art Tour. The event features working artists’ studios that open their doors to the public.
CENTRAL WATERS BREWING COMPANY - 25 YEARS IN 2023
Celebrate with Central Waters at their headquarters in Amherst in January. The event (which routinely sells out) is highly sought after for beer lovers, includes special release and barrel-aged beers in honor of the celebration.
WOODEN CHAIR – 30 YEARS IN 2023
This Stevens Point institution will celebrate 30 years in 2023. Filled with antiques and history as rich as the food, you’ll find this local favorite in Downtown Stevens Point. Serving only breakfast and lunch, you’ll find a wide variety on the menu and once inside, you’ll see right away where the name comes from, with every table surrounded by unique wooden chairs.
The City of Stevens Point turns 165 in 2023, after being officially incorporated in 1858.
More reasons to visit the Stevens Point Area
Here are spots to explore, away from crowds in central Wisconsin.
- Get a beautiful view and insider tips with our guide to the top 10 secluded spots in the Stevens Point Area.
- Love biking and beer? Travel the Tomorrow River State Trail with a stop at Central Waters, a barrel-aging giant in the Stevens Point Area. Get tips for the trip, in our ride guide.
- Stake out your perfect piece of shoreline – and a great getaway – with these waterfront rentals in the Stevens Point Area.
- Hidden Beaches are the perfect spot for summer fun – and on the Wisconsin River flowage in the Stevens Point Area, there are plenty of sandbars to enjoy. Learn more about Maple Island Beach, one of the most popular hidden beaches, in our guide to hidden beaches.
- Find the best spots for mocktails in the Stevens Point Area, with our guide to where to find them on the menu in central Wisconsin.
- Traveling with the family and looking for places to explore? Check out the Kid’s Guide to the Green Circle Trail with recommendations by trail segment.
Wellness Travel - trips planned around outdoor recreation including urban recreation, unplugging, healthy foods locally sourced
- Start your day exploring local art from murals to sculptures – including a stop at the massive 150 feet wide ‘E Pluribus Unum’ mural or the giant ‘Sand County Bench’. Then, pick up a picnic lunch from the Stevens Point Area Co-op or some Vegan comfort food from Wicked Willow, before venturing out on the Green Circle Trail. Those interested in locally sourced food can find details in the Farm Fresh Atlas, produced by the Central Rivers Farmshed. Get your farm-to-table fix at Adelante, a local food marketplace that is part coffee roastery and part community gathering space through Liberation Farmers. For more local finds, head straight to the source for brunch on the farm at Lonely Oak Farms, during the growing season. Learn more about the local makers in the Stevens Point Area – then go and meet them yourself.
Volunteer Opportunities for Travelers
- Looking for a unique way to be a part of the winemaking experience? Go behind the scenes at Rock Ridge Vineyard - and help harvest grapes in the early fall - for this one-of-a-kind experience in the Stevens Point Area. This free agritourism experience puts you in the fields where wine begins its journey at Rock Ridge Vineyard. Typically harvest begins in late August through September, but it depends on a number of factors.
Inclusive and Accessible – itinerary ideas for multicultural, LGBTQ+ and accessible travel
- Must-see events include; central Wisconsin’s largest Jazz Festival (Riverfront Jazz Festival), one of the Midwest’s first art shows of the year (Festival of the Arts), a chance to view working local artist studios (Hidden Studios Art Tour), a comic-con meets canoeing adventure (Paddlequest), AIRO Pow-wow and the Festival of India, and Bluegrass in the Pines.
Heritage and Culture
- Cultural Commons - Visit this interactive and educational community space located in Pfiffner Pioneer Park along the Wisconsin River in Stevens Point. The Park seeks to join the cultural influences of the community from the influence of the Native Americans who first settled here to the sister cities, including native plantings and sculptures.
- For more on the local influence, don’t miss the Menomonie Clans Story, at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. The exhibit, located in Albertson Hall, explores the clan structure, origin story, love songs, lullabies, and more.
- See art and heritage in action, with Karen Ann Hoffman, the 2020 NEA National Heritage Fellow as she shares her talents as a Haudenosaunee Raised Beadworker.
Unique Culinary Offerings
- Go beyond the traditional Wisconsin favorites with 26 things worth trying in the StevensPoint Area - from A to Z. Most notably – a Rusty’s Bloody Mary, the Fried Chicken Donut Sandwich, the nearly foot tall Large Cone, Vegan Banana Pancakes, or the apps at Wissota (stick with the classic, like the giant bavarian pretzel - with beer cheese, of course! - or get adventurous with grilled octopus, crispy rabbit wontons, or the Neuske bacon
- More popular local flavor must-do’s include; Eggs Benedict crepes and single-origin coffee at Ruby, grab a locally made item from Agora Local Makers Market, enjoy brunch on the farm (May-October) at Lonely Oak Farms, eat your way around the state’s oldest farmers market in downtown Stevens Point (held 6 days a week during the growing season, and shifts indoors for the winter from November-April), fresh-made smoked gouda pretzels from Main Grain Bakery to bring along as a snack to Central Waters Brewing Company for a barrel-aged beer – as part of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective (a partnership of all of the craft beer, wine and spirits makers in the region).